Folks who’ve attended Dragon*Con previously know these things are best represented at one of the most popular events in modern comic fandom: The Dawn Look-Alike Contest.
For its 8th year, contest attendees were treated to the machinations of host Voltaire, whose songs about Star Trek sex techniques and Goths’ dice habits struck a particular chord with the crowd. Meanwhile, contestants displayed their renditions under the discerning eyes of last year’s winner, Sarah Falls, Dawn website manager, Greg Hinkle, colorist, Ava Hopkins, and comic creator, Joseph Michael Linsner.
Women from all across the country came to show their appreciation for Linsner’s creation which to the contestants embodies such attributes as freedom, confidence, sexuality, and other elements of empowerment. The costumes ranged from from a ‘70s hot pants/disco ball ensemble to uniquely used skin paint to reflective peacock feathers with skulls inside. The creative possibilities were endless, according to Aleathia Burns who won the “Most Original” award for her Nubian Majesty Dawn costume consisting of intricate Egyptian-styled armor and wing feathers. Burns came from Maryland to “Have fun and see if my sewing skills have improved.” She spent 2 weeks on her costume along with her friend Matthew Owens. Normally, she masquerades as Final Fantasy characters but “word of mouth” got her to compete in the contest.
The “Overall Third Place” winner was Mary Elam, whose horned bridal outfit helped her gain the Dawn “Venus In White” statue worth $200; while second place (as well as an original painting by Linsner) went to Loryn Sonnon for her Goddess Dawn outfit.
The 8th winner of the annual Dawn Look-Alike contest was Amanda Benshoof who earned the first place prize of $1000 with her costume—a brown corset over a satin gown accentuated by red, dual level wings with a built-in reflective halo. Benshoof found her inspiration on p. 130 of Lucifer’s Halo. It took her two weeks to construct the costume, although she planned it out for a year. The Port Towsend, Washington native plans to put her winnings toward her husband. “He’s been real tolerant of me while he’s had pins put in his foot . . . so now I’m going to take care of him.”